While searching through Brecht’s legacy, Broomberg and Chanarin found his personal copy of the Holy Bible – the cover of which Brecht had decorated with an image of a car. And then they had an idea… They designed their own version of the Holy Bible.
Since (capitalist) market is an abstract concept, photographic narratives about it are by necessity indirect, focusing on visual representation of its many manifestations. Through most of the 20th century, photographers have continuously been focusing on its most evident manifestation – labour.
Empty stages is a photographic project consisting of a series of digital prints that have been taken since 2003 and comprises of more than 100 photographs. Authors document empty stages in various parts of the world, such as conference halls, city and amateur theatres, concert stages, workers’ clubs or hotels.
The series Big depression consists of two dozen photographs shot using an old bellows camera in wet plate collodion and two dozen digital blow-ups that depict abandoned, slowly deteriorating objects of until only recently active factories.
The article analyses the relationship between artist and theoretician Martha Rosler’s exhibition project The Bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems (1974–75) and her two essays, “In, Around, and Afterthoughts (On Documentary Photography),” from 1981, and “Notes on Quotes,” from 1982.
Pointing the camera at the Israeli Separation Barrier-Wall involves a fundamental paradox: no matter how critical we are of its construction, once we choose to photograph it, we are colluding with its construction and preservation. Photography is related directly to proving that something exists and to memorializing the presence of places that have been built or destroyed.
Sure, images that are meant to make an argument about social relations can ‘work’. But the documentary that has so far been granted cultural legitimacy has no such argument to make. Its arguments have been twisted into generalizations about the condition of ‘man’, which is by definition not susceptible to change through struggle.
So why continue to defend documentary? The short answer is, because we need it, and because it likely will continue, with or without art world theorizing. As the division widens between rich and poor in the United States and elsewhere, there is less and less serious analysis of the lives of those on the wrong side of that great divide.
Photographer Klavdij Sluban’s essential mode of artistic creativity is his inner division, the consequence of his having grown up between two homelands, Slovenia and France. Switching on his childhood memories of his carefree years in Livold (Kočevska) every time during shooting, his black and white photography reflects this inner schism.